Long ago, there reigned a mighty king named Ila. Once while hunting, he came upon a grove where Shiva was making love with Parvati, and surprise of surprises, Shiva had taken the form of a woman to please her. Everything in the woods, even the trees had become female, and as he approached even King Ila himself was transformed into a woman! Shiva laughed out aloud and told him to ask for any boon except that of masculinity.
Thus says the Shaktisangama Tantra:
If when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees,-
if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head
and singing softly to myself:
“I am lonely, lonely.
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!”
If I admire my arms, my face,
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
against the yellow drawn shades,-
Who shall say I am not
the happy genius of my household?
— William Carlos Williams
May is my wife — beautiful, kind, humorous, intelligent and wise, graced with a strong and generous character. She’s from Jiangsu, China, and not yet a permanent resident in the U.S. We were married in July.
They took her away in August.
“I have been wondering about how the emulation of Ramana Maharshi can in any way be practical. Anyone who wishes to respond to this question is invited to give hard evidence direct from their own life. I’m talking about jobs, family, fights with the spouse. I’m not talking about a review of what Ramana Maharshi said.”
I remember the first time I met a Buddhist teacher. A zen Roshi came to give a public talk.
Roshi began by saying that since we had all come to see him – he would take off his clothes if we liked.
Then, after a short Dharma talk – he made the assembled crowd stand up, put our hands on our hips, lean back, stick out our bellys and laugh.
At first the attempt was pretty pathetic, we were a very intense group – but, eventually we were rolling around on the floor laughing. A good laugh is the fastest way out of clinging that I have ever found.
Joyce Short is a contributor to both the HarshaSatsangh and NondualitySalon mailing lists.
The image was taken by Jason Gregory
When I was ten years old, arthritis presented in my life and has remained my constant companion since. Not long after I became ill, my father, who worked for the state in the field of agriculture, was out on the road surveying orchards in Butte County. He had stopped by a river to eat his lunch and he settled down under a tree with a heavy heart, for he carried the Heartbreaking burden of a father who had to watch his Beloved child endure endless pain and a constant, relentless destruction of the body through joint deteriorization. He felt helpless in a way that might be rightly understood if one has ever had or has a child who is stricken with a catastrophic illness.
It’s funny the things we remember about people. I met Dr. Greg Goode in 1999 at the Providence Zen Center retreat. Providence Zen Center is a beautiful and scenic place with accommodations for weekend or week long spiritual and meditative retreats. People from many diverse faiths and traditions had come from Canada, California, and many places in between. Dr. Goode was scheduled to give a session on deep body relaxation and visualization at the event.